Will Ship 5/5/20
In the aftermath of a deadly outbreak—reminiscent of the 1962 mass hysteria that was the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic—a city at the tip of Africa is losing its mind, with residents experiencing hallucinations, paranoia, and uncontrollable laughter. Is it simply another episode of mass hysteria, or something more sinister? In a quarantined city in which the inexplicable has already occurred, rumors, superstitions, and conspiracy theories abound.
During these strange days, Faith works as a fulltime corpse collector and a freelance “truthologist,” putting together disparate pieces of information to solve problems. But after Faith agrees to help an orphaned girl find her abducted baby brother, she begins to wonder if the boy is even real. Meanwhile, Sans, a dealer trading in stolen ponytails, is so distracted by a glimpse of his dream woman that he loses a bag of money he owes his gang partners—leaving him desperately searching for both and questioning his own sanity.
Over the course of a single week, the paths of Faith, Sans, and a cast of other hustlers—including a data dealer, a drug addict, a sin eater, and a hyena man—will cross and intertwine as they move about the city, looking for lost souls, uncertain absolution, and answers that may not exist.
Ilze Hugo is a South African author with degrees in fine arts and English studies, along with a Masters in creative writing from the University of Cape Town. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies like The Ghost Eater and Other Stories and My Holiday Shorts. As a freelance writer, she’s written for magazines, guidebooks, ad campaigns, and even the odd comic. She lives by the ocean in Muizenberg, Cape Town, with her husband and two children.